Around the NFL  

 

Ravens' John Harbaugh on Ray Rice: I stand behind him

The Baltimore Ravens will be without running back Ray Rice for the first two games of the 2014 season.

Speaking to the media Thursday, John Harbaugh said he couldn't comment on the suspension until the league announced it.

The coach did, however, say the team has been preparing for Rice's punishment and that he spoke to the running back on the field during practice.

"It's just part of the process," Harbaugh said. "We always said from the beginning that the circumstances would determine the consequences. There are consequences when you make a mistake like that. I stand behind Ray, he's a heck of a guy, he's done everything right since. He makes a mistake, he's gonna have to pay a consequence.

"I think that's good for kids to understand it works that way, that's how it works, that's how it should be. We'll move forward, and the next guy will have to step up and Ray will be back when the time comes. It's not something that we're dwelling on, we're not worrying about it, we're just moving forward."

In a statement, Rice reiterated his remorsefulness for the incident.

"It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that's my fault," Rice said. "My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident.

"I am a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. My actions going forward will show that."

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome: "We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice.

"While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league's decision and believe it is fair."

The Ravens will move forward with now-healthy Bernard Pierce carrying the load alongside Justin Forsett and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro expected to chip in as the third back.

Harbaugh glowed about the collection of runners Newsome has compiled in his backfield, which would mitigate the loss of Rice early in the season.

"I think we have a lot of depth at running back, we'll just see how it plays out, a lot of competition in there and I like our guys and looking forward to seeing how they do," he said.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" offers up team-by-team training camp previews of the NFC East and NFC West.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15